NORWALK, Conn. – Using a drug-sniffing K-9 officer, in addition to assistance from the U.S. Postal Service, the Norwalk Police Department busted a major marijuana operation Thursday that may have been funneling hundreds of pounds of pot into Norwalk annually, police said.
Two men were arrested in connection with the operation, including the alleged mastermind who sent 20 pounds of pot through the mail from California that was delivered to a Taylor Avenue home Thursday, police said.
According to Lt. Jim Walsh, commander of the department’s Special Services Division, Daniel Evans, 29, of Canoga Park, Calif., used a fake name to send the pot to the home of a friend, Manoah “Tony” Dunbar, also 29, of Taylor Avenue. Evans grew up in Norwalk and moved to California, but he kept ties with friends in the city, Walsh said.
The package had been intercepted by police and postal inspectors Wednesday at the main postal hub in Stamford after Norwalk Police Sgt. Frank Reda supervised K-9 officer “Czar” as the dog sniffed boxes, police said.
Czar identified pot in one of the boxes, and postal inspectors obtained a warrant to open the box, police said.
Inside were 20 individual vacuum-sealed bags of pot, each weighing one pound. According to Walsh, each one pound bag could be worth about $4,000 on the street, but if the contents were cut up then each bag could yield considerably more money. Even though bags were vacuum sealed, and the package double boxed, Czar was able to identify the contents, he said.
The box was addressed to Dunbar’s Taylor Avenue address in Norwalk, police said. An undercover postal inspector delivered the package Thursday just after 4 p.m., police said. Police had removed much of the pot and put in dummy weights. Dunbar accepted the package and officers moved in to arrest him, police said.
Evans was also at the home at the time and was taken into custody, police said.
According to Walsh, Evans is believed to have been sending 20 to 25 similar-size packages to various Norwalk addresses annually, or more than 400 pounds of pot each year. Police did not disclose how long the operation had been active.
Evans would fly in from California to receive the package from the friend, police said. Officers are investigating the names and addresses of others who may have aided Evans, police said. Walsh did not say how many people or addresses in Norwalk may be involved.
Police said Evans would then distribute the pot throughout the city and the area. Some of the “brand names” that the pot was allegedly sold under were “OG” and “3X.”
“There is a lot of cash profits in marijuana these days,” said Walsh. “Especially on the East Coast.”
Walsh said Dunbar knew what was in the box but may not have been involved in the operation other than to allow his address to be used.
Norwalk police, in cooperation with postal inspectors and officials with UPS and FedEx, periodically conducts searches with K-9 officers of boxes headed to Norwalk addresses, according to Walsh.
Dunbar and Evans were each charged with multiple counts of illegal possession and sale of marijuana. Dunbar posted $1,500 bond and Evans posted $75,000 bond – which was lowered from $100,000 by a bail commissioner, said Walsh.
The two were scheduled to appear in Norwalk Superior Court on June 19.